Giving’ and ‘responding’ differences in gestural communication between nonhuman great ape mothers and infants

Article


Schneider, C., Liebal, Katja and Call, Josep 2017. Giving’ and ‘responding’ differences in gestural communication between nonhuman great ape mothers and infants. Developmental Psychobiology. 59 (3), pp. 303-313.
AuthorsSchneider, C., Liebal, Katja and Call, Josep
Abstract

In the first comparative analysis of its kind, we investigated gesture behavior and response
patterns in 25 captive ape mother-infant dyads (six bonobos, eight chimpanzees, three
gorillas, and eight orangutans). We examined i) how frequently mothers and infants gestured
to each other and to other group members; and ii) to what extent infants and mothers
responded to the gestural attempts of others. Our findings confirmed the hypothesis that
bonobo mothers were more proactive in their gesturing to their infants than the other species.
Yet mothers (from all four species) often did not respond to the gestures of their infants and
other group members. In contrast, infants ‘pervasively’ responded to gestures they received
from their mothers and other group members. We propose that infants’ pervasive
responsiveness rather than the quality of mother investment and her responsiveness may be
crucial to communication development in nonhuman great apes.

Keywordsgesture; mother; infant; nonhuman great apes; responsiveness
JournalDevelopmental Psychobiology
Journal citation59 (3), pp. 303-313
ISSN0012-1630
1098-2302
Year2017
PublisherWiley for International Society of Developmental Psychobiology
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/dev.21495
Publication dates
Print21 Mar 2017
Publication process dates
Deposited20 Feb 2017
Accepted30 Nov 2016
Copyright information© 2017 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made. Cited: Schneider, C., Liebal, K. & Call, J. (2017). ‘Giving’ and ‘responding’ differences in gestural communication between nonhuman great ape mothers and infants. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(3), 303–313.
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